There are two ways to go about being a post-hardcore band from the '90s. The first is the route that Helmet took: put out two fantastic albums, then follow it up with mediocrity, subsisting on past triumphs while trying to convince the masses who have moved on to the Thursdays and Tools of the world that you're still relevant. Hint: you aren't. The second is to follow that old cliché about choosing between burning out and fading away, the former of which New York City's Quicksand did at the peak of their potential in 1995.
Following the ridiculously intense Slip in 1993 two years later with the just-as-solid Manic Compression, the quartet decided to call it a day in the wake of failed major-label expectations, the rigors of nonstop touring, internal strife, and being overshadowed by the likes of one-time roadmates the Offspring. While there's no accounting for bad taste, luckily the aforementioned masses are getting another chance. Revelation Records threw a big multi-day 25th anniversary shebang for themselves early last June, and the special guest on the fourth night of the gigs in Los Angeles was none other than Quicksand, sending the mosh pits into a frenzy not seen since Pantera were kicking it with White Zombie on the War of the Gargantuas jaunt in '96.
A couple more one-offs came next, but now it's about to get real with a string of gigs kicking off at a sold-out Paradise come Monday, as the band get ready to put their heads down for the punishing riffs of "Fazer," "Omission," and "Landmine Spring." On the last, you'll recall, frontman Walter Schreifels declares, "Did not expect this shit at all/to go through this again." Neither did anyone else.
That means no press, non-existent promotion — nothing but the music this time around. In declining a long-form interview, Schreifels did say last week: "I'm psyched to play Boston . . . just focusing on the shows and having fun." He promised to do a proper chat when he's got a new record coming down the line, which will likely be a solo effort. "Next spring, with any luck."
That leaves the future of Quicksand as murky as ever, though Schreifel has mad shit going on as is: Gorilla Biscuits, Rival Schools, and the supremely underrated CIV, just to name a few. But it's Quicksand that remains the biggest question mark. Much like Refused pulling it all back together last year, it might be better if the band doesn't drop anything else — living in the past is just fine.
QUICKSAND + SINGLE MOTHERS :: Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm Ave, Boston :: January 7 @ 7 pm :: All Ages :: $27.50 :: 617.562.8800 or thedise.com